PADOVANO Missa A la dolc' ombra. Missa Domine a lingua dolosa

Annibale Padovano (1527-1575) 
Missa A la dolc' ombra. Missa Domine a lingua dolosa

A tale of two Masses, one based on a madrigal, the other on a motet. Cinquecento’s latest release, coupling Annibale Padovano’s Missa A la dolc’ ombra and Missa Domine a lingua dolosa offers a captivating glimpse into compositions by an Italian composer much lauded in his own time but little remembered since. Padovano occupied a place in the musical life of St Mark’s, Venice, and in the circle around Adrian Willaert (also memorably recorded by this ensemble – 8/10), and later served in Graz at the court of Archduke Karl II. Describing him as ‘brilliant, cocky and mercurial’ in his comprehensive note, musicologist Grantley McDonald points out Padovano’s predilection for highly consonant writing. He was famous for his instrumental works as much as for his Mass for 24 voices (recorded by the Huelgas Ensemble – Harmonia Mundi, 6/01), but this album presents the stylish polyphonist on a more modest scale.


Missa Domine a lingua dolosa is based on Padovano’s motet written in the unusual yet expressive Aeolian mode. It’s a low, mellow setting, which clearly inspires the singers of Cinquecento. Listen out for the superb bass notes throughout and a poised, elegant Benedictus duet. The ensemble expands for the final seven-voice Agnus Dei with glorious, indulgent results. Cinquecento at their best.

For the full text of this review please click here: Gramophone June 2024


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